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2018 iPad Pro Models Could Have Very Fast Octa-Core A11X Bionic Chip

Apple's next-generation iPad Pro models released in 2018 will feature octa-core processors, based on Taiwanese supplier TSMC's improved 7nm manufacturing process, according to Chinese website MyDrivers. iPad Pro with slim bezels and no Home button rendered by Benjamin Geskin The report, citing sources within Apple's supply chain, claims the eight cores in the tentatively named A11X Bionic chip will include three high-performance "Monsoon" cores and five energy-efficient "Mistral" cores. Like the A11 Bionic chip in the latest iPhone models, which is built on a 10nm process, the A11X chip will reportedly feature TSMC's integrated fan-out wafer level packaging, or InFO WLP for short. The chip will also presumably include a next-generation M11 coprocessor and neural engine for artificial intelligence tasks, such as processing facial recognition given rumors about Face ID on 2018 iPad Pro models. The eight-core processor should unsurprisingly result in CPU performance improvements on next-generation iPad Pro models. Our own Chris Jenkins provided an in-depth look at the architecture of Apple's A11 Bionic chip. He also highlighted details about TSMC's improved 7nm process and advanced InFO packaging process for 2018. Apple's current 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models have an A10X Fusion chip based on TSMC's 10nm fabrication process. In addition to gaining Face ID, next-generation iPad Pro models are expected to have an iPhone X form factor with slimmer bezels and no Home button. However, the tablets will reportedly continue to have LCD displays due to

High-End iPhone 7 Plus With Dual Cameras Could Be Called 'iPhone Pro'

The rumored high-end iPhone 7 Plus with dual cameras could be named the "iPhone Pro," according to questionable information shared by Chinese website MyDrivers [Google Translate]. Apple is reportedly considering the name to distinguish the device from the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, said to include standard single-lens cameras. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously suggested Apple is working on two versions of the iPhone 7 Plus, one with a single-lens camera and one with a dual-lens camera, to be sold alongside an iPhone 7 with a single-lens camera. That rumor itself sounds questionable as it would splinter Apple's iPhone lineup, but Kuo firmly believes that is Apple's plan and has mentioned it in two separate research notes. A mockup of what the iPhone 7 could look like with no protruding camera lens and redesigned antenna bands In recent months, MyDrivers has shared several details on the iPhone 7 and the iPhone SE, but as neither device has launched, the site's accuracy is still in question. Apple has used the same general number-based naming scheme for its lineup of flagship iPhones since the iPhone 3G launched in 2008, so the information provided by MyDrivers should be viewed with some skepticism until confirmed by a source with a solid track record. It's possible rumors of an iPhone Pro are surfacing due to the unique name Apple's 4-inch iPhone is expected to adopt -- iPhone SE -- and the rumored naming plan for the next-generation 9.7-inch iPad. The device will reportedly be branded as an iPad Pro rather than an iPad Air 3, naturally

iPhone 7 Plus Said to Have 256GB Option and Larger 3,100 mAh Battery

Apple's next-generation iPhone 7 Plus may feature a 256GB storage option and larger 3,100 mAh battery as two differentiating features over the smaller iPhone 7, according to Chinese website MyDrivers [Google Translate]. The report does not specify if the iPhone 7 Plus will still have 16GB base storage, or if Apple will opt for larger storage options such as 32GB, 128GB and 256GB, compared to the iPhone 6s Plus lineup of 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models. The claimed 3,100 mAh battery would be approximately 12.7% larger than the iPhone 6s Plus's 2,750 mAh battery, but the rumor is questionable following reports claiming the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be nearly as thin as the new iPod touch. The report also corroborates previous rumors claiming the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will retain 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes respectively, but does not offer any other new details about the smartphones. Chinese website MyDrivers, which earlier this week said the so-called "iPhone 6c" will have a 1,642 mAh battery and 2GB of RAM, has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, so this rumor should be treated with caution until or unless other reports substantiate these claims. Apple may remove the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector, possibly helping the smartphones achieve between 6.0mm and 6.5mm thinness and a waterproof design. The devices may also have a faster TSMC-built A10 chip and Intel 7360 LTE modem and non-metallic casing with hidden antenna bands. iPhone 7 Plus models

Apple's Initial Sapphire Production to Target iWatch, Not iPhone 6?

Evidence has made clear that Apple is investing heavily in sapphire for its future products with the company working with partner GT Advanced Technologies to start production of the material in a new Arizona plant. Earlier reports suggested the sapphire is likely for the next-generation iPhone, but G 4 Games points to new reports from Asian supply chain sources speaking to MyDrivers [Google Translate] and PCPOP [Google Translate] claiming the iWatch will be the first Apple device to be equipped with the scratch-resistant material. Furnaces for sapphire glass production According to the reports, the biggest factor in using sapphire for the iWatch and not the next iPhone is cost, with the price of sapphire driving up the retail price tag of the iPhone. A price increase could be detrimental to Apple as the iPhone already has a premium price tag. According to Chinese media sources (which are citing “Taiwan supply chain insiders”), Apple has put a lot of effort into fitting the next iPhone with a sapphire screen. These sources claim that “beta” iPhone units (read: some of the prototypes Apple is currently testing) are already sporting sapphire protected panels, but unfortunately, chances are that they will not make it on the final product. The problem is not necessarily due to low yield (which still is a problem, at least until Apple’s [Arizona] plant will be fully operational), but mainly because fitting a sapphire screen on the next iPhone would make its price skyrocket. Fortunately though, the same sources also say that Apple will manage to fit sapphire